Registration opens for 2016's Slam Camp on LSU's campus

Registration opens for 2016's Slam Camp on LSU's campus
Sarah Wagner at Slam Camp 2015 (Source: Donney Rose)
Sarah Wagner at Slam Camp 2015 (Source: Donney Rose)
Amber Torrence at Slam Camp 2015 (Source: Donney Rose)
Amber Torrence at Slam Camp 2015 (Source: Donney Rose)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Has your son or daughter had plenty of sports camps, science camps, Mother's Day out escapes during the summer? Forward Arts, Baton Rouge's performance poetry non-profit, is having Slam Camp. If they're doing it, you can be guaranteed a camp perfect for ages 13 to 19.

Donney Rose is a poet and a camp organizer. Rose said kids not only find their inner-poets, but develop poise to speak in front of an audience, and exposure to people who can inspire them as well.

"We had a lot of great guests artists who came out from poets to musicians to authors to people in bands," Rose said about 2015's camp. "They would come and do demonstrations and talk to kids about their crafts."

It sounds ambitious, but Slam Camp's literature says the experience is "designed to promote community, advocacy, critical civic engagement, social activism, and to inspire young people to explore their identities and define themselves through writing and performance."

Rose said they expect to register beginners as well as returning seasoned spoken word poets.

"We will definitely have young people of varying levels, some from previous summers. I know we have some now whom I'm not familiar with at all. We're looking to divide our classes between beginners and more experienced kids."

Slam Camp is located on the LSU campus. It starts at 8:30 in the morning, with a walk to the Student Union for lunch, and with treats at the LSU Dairy Store also on the schedule. The day ends at 4:30 p.m. It runs from June 13 through July 1.

Forward Arts has its own goals for the teens:

"By the end of camp, every young person will have one completely revised poem that will go into a Chap Book and they will also have a poem to perform at our culminating showcase which will be on July 1.  So that's the goal."

Learning the poetry craft will also teach youth that not all things are done quickly, and that revising and re-writing is a part of the process.

"Throughout the course, they write as many as 10 drafts!" Rose remarked. "We encourage to them to work on at least one for live performance, but more as they learn the process."

Forward Arts is looking for at least 30 teenagers for this camp. The general fee for Slam Camp 2016 is $150.00, with opportunities for scholarships and free tuition for returning camp participants. That does not include the $5 to $8 a kid will need each day for lunch in the Student Union.

Parents and/or guardians interested in receiving a scholarship for their student should contact for details. Slam Camp 2016 applications and scholarship forms are available at

The deadline for registering for Forward Arts "Slam Camp" is June 6.

Kids who attend will learn from some of the best. Instructors for Slam Camp 2016 include Donney Rose, Desireé Dallagiacomo, and Chancelier "xero" Skidmore, along with a multitude of guest instructors.

Donney Rose is a veteran performance poet, teaching artists and eight-time member of the Baton Rouge National Poetry Slam team. Desireé Dallagiacomo is a Pushcart prize nominee and ranked third at both the Individual World Poetry Slam and the Women of the World Poetry Slam. Chancelier "xero" Skidmore is the 2013 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion.

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